Structure of Dissertation
This should have your dissertation title, your name,
your student number, title of degree and the date.
It is usual but not compulsory to thank those who
have been of particular help to you in completing the dissertation.
This is a short section (maximum one page), which
concisely summarises the whole of the dissertation;
the main aim of the research, the findings of the
Literature Review, the research methodology
adopted, the findings of your primary research and
the conclusions made. It should be written in the
This should be written on a separate page and
should show chapter/section headings and page
numbers. It should include all appendices and be
followed by separate lists of tables and figures if
Your introduction should contain your topic clearly
stated and defined, the reason why it is of interest
to you, a clear overall purpose and definitions of all
special and general terms. This chapter should also
end with a clear research question or questi
ons, a list of objectives and a hypothesis or hypotheses if
This chapter should demonstrate that you have
conducted a thorough and critical investigation of
relevant sources, outlining, comparing and
discussing key ideas, expl
anations, concepts, models
and theories. You should present these ideas in a
systematic, well structured and logical sequence.
You will be expected to use prominent and up to date books and academic journals.
This chapter should end with a statement of the
gap in current knowledge which your research aims to fill.
This chapter describes and
assesses the approach you have taken to the data collection process (research philosophy, research strategy, method(s),
validity etc.) For each research qu
estion or hypothesis and objectives you should have a method
for achieving it, making sure that you offer clear
rationales for the decisions that you have made. You
should explicitly describe your chosen method(s)
and any sampling techniques used. It is al
so important to give a brief assessment of other
potential relevant data collection methods and why
you discounted them. Do not describe all data
collection methods. There should be a critique of the
success, or otherwise, of your method(s). Explain
the appropriateness of the data analysis techniques
that you have selected. You must also discuss
validity, reliability and generalisability.
Findings / Results
In this chapter the data generated should be
reported as completely and neutrally as is possible
such that the reader can assess it easily. This is
where you will include such tables and graphs that
will illustrate your findings. This chapter will also
contain verbatim quotes from interviewees, or
sections of narrative account that illustrate periods
of unstructured observation. The purpose of this
chapter is to present the facts. It is not appropriate
in this chapter to begin to offer opinions on the facts.
Analysis / Discussion of Findings
You should present your analysis clearly and logically
and it should be relevant to your research aim,
research question(s), hypothesis (es) and objectives.
Make sure that you relate the findings of your
primary research to your Literature Review. You can
do this by comparison: discussing similarities and
particularly differences. If you think your findings
have confirmed some literature findings, say so and
say why. If you think your findings are at variance
with the literature, say so and say why.
State the main conclusions of your dissertation.
State explicitly how and to what extent you have met
your aims and objectives / answered your research
question(s) / proved your hypothesis (es) whichever
is appropriate. Your conclusions should follow
logically from your findings and not contain any new material. Recommendations can be made if
Appendices, illustrations etc
Any necessary information should be here, for
example, sampled questionnaires, topic guides, etc.
Each appendix should be lettered (A, B, C etc.) and
should consist of detailed information that is
interesting but not essential to the main thrust of
your findings section.
Full references to every source used, presented in
the format of the Harvard System of Referencing.
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